Bill Rayburn will be missed
by Bill Kennedy Portland
Jul 04, 2012 | 699 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print

What a marvelous, well-deserved written tribute the editor of the County Press tendered to a one-of-a-kind Texan and Refugio citizen last week in a much-deserved personal column by Kenda Nelson.

I didn’t know Bill Rayburn personally but I learned to know him intimately with his seemingly never-ending sensibility in his letters to the Press.

Incidentally, we should be grateful to the Press - the Latchams and Nelson - for allowing weekly letters to the editor.

What would we not have learned if we didn’t get the astute, learned, and courageous weekly thoughts of Bill Rayburn. May the paper’s policy always be thus!

If ratings were tabulated as to the readership of the Press, I would guess that Rayburn’s intelligent thought in print would be right up there with the well-deserved Kenda Nelson, whose recent laurels for editorial excellence is/was profoundly deserved.

Rayburn was the type of writer who annoys many readers (but not enough for those perturbed to quit reading his letters). Of all the aspects of Rayburn’s letters, I was most impressed with his consistent and persistent ideas that would benefit Refugio and Refugio County. Too often, a paper’s letters are vague, unfair, strident and mean-spirited on a national subject.

Rayburn qualified for none of these. He approached problems; outlined what was wrong (sometimes right!) and suggested solutions. He was always local.

Solutions! That’s exactly what made Rayburn different from most letter barn-burners.

He resounded what he thought to be wrong with local problems and never failed to tell us what to do about these wrongs.

Oh, what a delight it was to pick up the weekly Press and more often than not, find Bill Rayburn’s “take” on what could make Refugio and the county better for all citizens.

One question, and please, dear readers, answer it honestly: “Wouldn’t you have loved to see what Bill Rayburn could have done for history and county, if elected to a policy-making position?”

You bet you would! You had your chance but he was badly beaten at the ballot box. That, I cannot understand. Here was an intelligent, unselfish, forward-thinking guy who only wanted to solve problems... and the electorate fell in the line of platitudes, paternalism, and personal laziness.

I was interested to learn he was a nephew of Sam Rayburn. Sam would have been mighty proud of his nephew’s attempt at righting wrongs.

There’s nothing I could write that would not duplicate (and seem phoney) what Kenda’s tribute included. She said it all in her praise of a wonderful guy - and said it with a lot of heart.

Thanks, Kenda, we all needed and received your most worthy “farewell” to a guy who believed in plenty of subjects and offered ways to make Refugio and Refugio County better in countless areas.

I only wish I could have been as knowledgeable and courageous when I was in a position to be so. Bill Rayburn will be terribly missed.

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